On Being with Krista Tippett
OnBeingStudios
Groundbreaking Peabody Award-winning conversation about the big questions of meaning — spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts. Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives. Hosted by Krista Tippett. New conversations every Thursday, with occasional extras.
Jane Goodall’s early research studying chimpanzees helped shape the self-understanding of our species and recalled modern western science to the fact that we are a part of nature not separate from it. From her decades studying chimpanzees in the Gombe forest to her more recent years attending to human poverty and misunderstanding, she reflects on the moral and spiritual convictions that have driven her, and what she is teaching and still learning about what it means to be human.

Jane Goodall’s early research studying chimpanzees helped shape the self-understanding of our species and recalled modern western science to the fact that we are a part of nature not separate from it. From her decades studying chimpanzees in the Gombe forest to her more recent years attending to human poverty and misunderstanding, she reflects on the moral and spiritual convictions that have driven her, and what she is teaching and still learning about what it means to be human.

Marilyn Nelson is a storytelling poet who has taught poetry and contemplative practice to college students and West Point cadets. She brings a contemplative eye to ordinary goodness in the present and to complicated ancestries we’re all reckoning with now. And she imparts a spacious perspective on what “communal pondering” might mean.

Marilyn Nelson is a storytelling poet who has taught poetry and contemplative practice to college students and West Point cadets. She brings a contemplative eye to ordinary goodness in the present and to complicated ancestries we’re all reckoning with now. And she imparts a spacious perspective on what “communal pondering” might mean.

An extraordinary conversation with the late congressman John Lewis, taped in Montgomery, Alabama, during a pilgrimage 50 years after the March on Washington. It offers a rare look inside his wisdom, the civil rights leaders’ spiritual confrontation within themselves, and the intricate art of nonviolence as “love in action.”

An extraordinary conversation with the late congressman John Lewis, taped in Montgomery, Alabama, during a pilgrimage 50 years after the March on Washington. It offers a rare look inside his wisdom, the civil rights leaders’ spiritual confrontation within themselves, and the intricate art of nonviolence as “love in action.”

Pauline Boss joins Krista to ponder what it means to be living through a collective experience of “ambiguous loss” right now. This is a companion to this week’s On Being rebroadcast of our conversation with Pauline Boss, a family therapist, on navigating loss where there is no closure. How does that work during a pandemic with no end in sight?

Pauline Boss coined the term “ambiguous loss” and invented a new field within psychology to name the reality that every loss does not hold a promise of anything like resolution. Amid this pandemic, there are so many losses — from deaths that could not be mourned, to the very structure of our days, to a sudden crash of what felt like solid careers and plans and dreams. This conversation is full of practical intelligence for shedding assumptions about how we should be feeling and acting as these only serve to deepen stress.

Pauline Boss coined the term “ambiguous loss” and invented a new field within psychology to name the reality that every loss does not hold a promise of anything like resolution. Amid this pandemic, there are so many losses — from deaths that could not be mourned, to the very structure of our days, to a sudden crash of what felt like solid careers and plans and dreams. This conversation is full of practical intelligence for shedding assumptions about how we should be feeling and acting as these only serve to deepen stress.

The show we released with Minneapolis-based trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem in the weeks after George Floyd’s killing has become one of our most popular episodes, and has touched listeners and galvanized personal searching. So we said yes when Resmaa proposed that he join On Being again, this time together with Robin DiAngelo. She is perhaps the foremost voice in our civilizational grappling with whiteness; her book, White Fragility, is one of the most widely read books in the world right now. Hearing the two of them together is electric — the deepest of dives into the calling of our lifetimes.

The show we released with Minneapolis-based trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem in the weeks after George Floyd’s killing has become one of our most popular episodes, and has touched listeners and galvanized personal searching. So we said yes when Resmaa proposed that he join On Being again, this time together with Robin DiAngelo. She is perhaps the foremost voice in our civilizational grappling with whiteness; her book, White Fragility, is one of the most widely read books in the world right now. Hearing the two of them together is electric — the deepest of dives into the calling of our lifetimes.

Vincent Harding was wise about how the vision of the civil rights movement might speak to 21st-century realities. He reminded us that the movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s was spiritually as well as politically vigorous; it aspired to a “beloved community,” not merely a tolerant integrated society. He pursued this through patient-yet-passionate cross-cultural, cross-generational relationships. And he posed and lived a question that is freshly in our midst: Is America possible?

Vincent Harding was wise about how the vision of the civil rights movement might speak to 21st-century realities. He reminded us that the movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s was spiritually as well as politically vigorous; it aspired to a “beloved community,” not merely a tolerant integrated society. He pursued this through patient-yet-passionate cross-cultural, cross-generational relationships. And he posed and lived a question that is freshly in our midst: Is America possible?

Books that fortify the young also have a power to help heal adults; so, too, does this conversation with writer Jason Reynolds. He is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature of the Library of Congress and author of a new companion to Ibram X. Kendi’s history of racism, Stamped From the Beginning, for young readers.

Books that fortify the young also have a power to help heal adults; so, too, does this conversation with writer Jason Reynolds. He is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature of the Library of Congress and author of a new companion to Ibram X. Kendi’s history of racism, Stamped From the Beginning, for young readers.

Go to the doctor and they won’t begin to treat you without taking your history — and not just yours, but that of your parents and grandparents before you. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson points this out as she reflects on her epic work of narrative nonfiction, The Warmth of Other Suns. She’s immersed herself in the stories of the Great Migration, the movement of six million African Americans to northern U.S. cities in the 20th century. The book is a carrier of histories and truths that help make sense of human and social challenges at the heart of our life together now.

Go to the doctor and they won’t begin to treat you without taking your history — and not just yours, but that of your parents and grandparents before you. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson points this out as she reflects on her epic work of narrative nonfiction, The Warmth of Other Suns. She’s immersed herself in the stories of the Great Migration, the movement of six million African Americans to northern U.S. cities in the 20th century. The book is a carrier of histories and truths that help make sense of human and social challenges at the heart of our life together now.

You can’t think about something if you can’t talk about it, says Eula Biss. The writer helpfully opens up lived words and ideas like complacence, guilt, and opportunity hoarding for an urgent reckoning with whiteness. This conversation was inspired by her 2015 essay in the New York Times, “White Debt.”

You can’t think about something if you can’t talk about it, says Eula Biss. The writer helpfully opens up lived words and ideas like complacence, guilt, and opportunity hoarding for an urgent reckoning with whiteness. This conversation was inspired by her 2015 essay in the New York Times, “White Debt.”

Therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem is working with old wisdom and very new science about our bodies and nervous systems, and all we condense into the word “race.” “Your body — all of our bodies — are where changing the status quo must begin.” Find a quiet place and experience this short, simple body practice offered in Resmaa’s conversation with Krista on the On Being episode, ‘Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence.’

With our colleague Rev. Lucas Johnson, Krista talks through the question of what questions matter for this moment. Can anyone use the word “we”? And how to begin walking forward? Living the Questions is an occasional On Being segment where Krista muses on questions from our listening community. Submit your own at ltq@onbeing.org.

The best laws and diversity training have not gotten us anywhere near where we want to go. Therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem is working with old wisdom and very new science about our bodies and nervous systems, and all we condense into the word “race.” Krista sat down with him in Minneapolis, where they both live and work, before the pandemic lockdown began. In this heartbreaking moment, after the killing of George Floyd and the history it carries, Resmaa Menakem’s practices offer us the beginning to change at a cellular level.

The best laws and diversity training have not gotten us anywhere near where we want to go. Therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem is working with old wisdom and very new science about our bodies and nervous systems, and all we condense into the word “race.” Krista sat down with him in Minneapolis, where they both live and work, before the pandemic lockdown began. In this heartbreaking moment, after the killing of George Floyd and the history it carries, Resmaa Menakem’s practices offer us the beginning to change at a cellular level.

We often explore on this show the places in the human experience where ordinary language falls short. The poet Gregory Orr has wrested gentle, healing, life-giving words from extreme grief and trauma. And right now we are all carrying some magnitude of grief in our bodies.

We often explore on this show the places in the human experience where ordinary language falls short. The poet Gregory Orr has wrested gentle, healing, life-giving words from extreme grief and trauma. And right now we are all carrying some magnitude of grief in our bodies.

Moral reckonings are being driven to the surface of our life together: What are politics for? What is an economy for? Jacqueline Novogratz says the simplistic ways we take up such questions — if we take them up at all — is inadequate. Novogratz is an innovator in creative, human-centered capitalism. She has described her recent book, Manifesto for a Moral Revolution, as a love letter to the next generation.

Moral reckonings are being driven to the surface of our life together: What are politics for? What is an economy for? Jacqueline Novogratz says the simplistic ways we take up such questions — if we take them up at all — is inadequate. Novogratz is an innovator in creative, human-centered capitalism. She has described her recent book, Manifesto for a Moral Revolution, as a love letter to the next generation.

This year Muslims are experiencing a Ramadan like no other. The month is usually a period of both intimacy and great community. Now Muslims are improvising, as in many places the rituals of Ramadan must be experienced at home or online. This show, recorded in 2009, grew out of an invitation to Muslim listeners to reflect on what it means to be part of what often is referred to in the abstract as “the Muslim world.” We received responses from all over the world and were struck by the vivid stories about Ramadan itself, across a remarkable spectrum of life and spiritual sensibility.

In this “spiritual book club” edition of the show, Krista and musician/artist Devendra Banhart read favorite passages and discuss When Things Fall Apart, a small book of great beauty by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön. It’s a work — like all works of spiritual genius — that speaks from the nooks and crannies and depths of a particular tradition, while conveying truths about humanity writ large. Their conversation speaks with special force to what it means to be alive and looking for meaning right now.

In this “spiritual book club” edition of the show, Krista and musician/artist Devendra Banhart read favorite passages and discuss When Things Fall Apart, a small book of great beauty by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön. It’s a work — like all works of spiritual genius — that speaks from the nooks and crannies and depths of a particular tradition, while conveying truths about humanity writ large. Their conversation speaks with special force to what it means to be alive and looking for meaning right now.

Krista interviewed the writer Ocean Vuong on March 8 in a joyful room full of podcast makers at On Air Fest in Brooklyn. None of us would have guessed that within a handful of days such an event would become unimaginable. So this conversation holds a last memory before the world shifted on its axis. More stunning is how exquisitely Ocean Vuong spoke on that day to the world we have now entered — its heartbreak, its poetry, and its possibilities of both destroying and saving.

Krista interviewed the writer Ocean Vuong on March 8 in a joyful room full of podcast makers at On Air Fest in Brooklyn. None of us would have guessed that within a handful of days such an event would become unimaginable. So this conversation holds a last memory before the world shifted on its axis. More stunning is how exquisitely Ocean Vuong spoke on that day to the world we have now entered — its heartbreak, its poetry, and its possibilities of both destroying and saving.

To a question from listener Vanessa Parfett in Melbourne, Krista reflects on "Zoomzaustion" and relearning the primacy of our bodies. Also, how this helps explain poetry's rise in our midst, and can make us more whole. Living the Questions is an occasional On Being segment where Krista muses on questions from our listening community. Submit your own at ltq@onbeing.org.

One of the great challenges of life is to learn to be alone peaceably, at home in oneself. And now, by way of a virus, we have been sent inside physically and emotionally, even if we’re not home on our own. We’re forced to work out the difference between isolation and loneliness or solitude. With teachers across the ages and drawing on his life from monasticism to marriage, Buddhist writer and scholar Stephen Batchelor teaches how to approach solitude as a graceful and life-giving practice.

One of the great challenges of life is to learn to be alone peaceably, at home in oneself. And now, by way of a virus, we have been sent inside physically and emotionally, even if we’re not home on our own. We’re forced to work out the difference between isolation and loneliness or solitude. With teachers across the ages and drawing on his life from monasticism to marriage, Buddhist writer and scholar Stephen Batchelor teaches how to approach solitude as a graceful and life-giving practice.

In this intimate conversation between Krista and one of her beloved teachers, we ponder the world and our place in it, through sacred text, with fresh eyes. We’re accompanied by the meditative and prophetic poetry of Wendell Berry, read for us from his home in Kentucky: “Stay away from anything / that obscures the place it is in. / There are no unsacred places; / there are only sacred places / and desecrated places. / Accept what comes of silence."

Wendell Berry reads his poem “The Peace of Wild Things” Wendell Berry is a farmer, poet, and environmentalist who has published more than 40 books. He lives in Port Royal, Kentucky.

Wendell Berry reads his poem “How to Be a Poet (to remind myself)” Wendell Berry is a farmer, poet, and environmentalist who has published more than 40 books. He lives in Port Royal, Kentucky.

Wendell Berry reads his poem “Sabbaths – 1985, I” Wendell Berry is a farmer, poet, and environmentalist who has published more than 40 books. He lives in Port Royal, Kentucky.

Wendell Berry reads his poem “Sabbaths – 1979, IV” Wendell Berry is a farmer, poet, and environmentalist who has published more than 40 books. He lives in Port Royal, Kentucky.

Wendell Berry reads his poem “The Man Born to Farming” Wendell Berry is a farmer, poet, and environmentalist who has published more than 40 books. He lives in Port Royal, Kentucky.

Wendell Berry reads his poem “The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer” Wendell Berry is a farmer, poet, and environmentalist who has published more than 40 books. He lives in Port Royal, Kentucky.

In this intimate conversation between Krista and one of her beloved teachers, we ponder the world and our place in it, through sacred text, with fresh eyes. We’re accompanied by the meditative and prophetic poetry of Wendell Berry, read for us from his home in Kentucky: “Stay away from anything / that obscures the place it is in. / There are no unsacred places; / there are only sacred places / and desecrated places. / Accept what comes of silence."

To a question from listener Elena Rivera of Colorado Springs, Krista reflects on seeing this as a collective moment of transition (which is always stressful in human life) and ponders what we might integrate into the people we become on the other side of it. “To really, actively, accompany each other in holding that question — that might be a spiritual calling but also a civilizational calling for this very extraordinary transition,” she says. Living the Questions is an occasional On Being segment where Krista muses on questions from our listening community. Submit your own at ltq@onbeing.org.

We’re in a season of renewal in the natural world and in spiritual traditions; both Easter and Passover this year are utterly transformed. It’s drawing us back to the wisdom of Br. David Steindl-Rast, who makes useful distinctions around experiences that are life-giving and resilience-making yet can feel absurd to speak of in a moment like this. A Benedictine monk for over 60 years, Steindl-Rast was formed by 20th-century catastrophes. He calls joy “the happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.” And his gratefulness is not an easy gratitude or thanksgiving — but a full-blooded, reality-based practice and choice.

We’re in a season of renewal in the natural world and in spiritual traditions; both Easter and Passover this year are utterly transformed. It’s drawing us back to the wisdom of Br. David Steindl-Rast, who makes useful distinctions around experiences that are life-giving and resilience-making yet can feel absurd to speak of in a moment like this. A Benedictine monk for over 60 years, Steindl-Rast was formed by 20th-century catastrophes. He calls joy “the happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.” And his gratefulness is not an easy gratitude or thanksgiving — but a full-blooded, reality-based practice and choice.

In Leanne O’Sullivan’s poem “Leaving Early,” the poet writes to her ill husband, entrusting him into the care of a nurse named Fionnuala. As the novel coronavirus sweeps the globe, many of us can’t physically be there for loved ones who are sick. Instead, it is the health care workers — and all involved in the health care system — who are tirelessly present, caring for others in spite of exhaustion and the risk it brings to their own well being. We offer this episode of Poetry Unbound in profound gratitude toward all who are working in health care right now.

Ai-jen Poo is a next-generation labor organizer who co-founded a beautiful and muscular movement with caregivers and those who employ them: The National Domestic Workers Alliance. For over two decades, she has been reinventing policy and engaging a deep conversation that has now met its civilizational moment. This conversation was recorded before “coronavirus” was a word we all knew. But the many dimensions of the crisis now upon us have revealed Ai-jen Poo and her world of wisdom and action as teachers for our life together, in and beyond it.

Ai-jen Poo is a next-generation labor organizer who co-founded a beautiful and muscular movement with caregivers and those who employ them: The National Domestic Workers Alliance. For over two decades, she has been reinventing policy and engaging a deep conversation that has now met its civilizational moment. This conversation was recorded before “coronavirus” was a word we all knew. But the many dimensions of the crisis now upon us have revealed Ai-jen Poo and her world of wisdom and action as teachers for our life together, in and beyond it.

“If I believe that we are all inherently worthy just by being human, how can I feel that way when I feel I’m doing ‘nothing?’” — Anna Bondoc from Los Angeles So many of us are raised to believe that hard work is what makes us valuable; many of our professions and even our identities as helpers are on hold. How does self-worth interact with just being when we feel we're doing nothing? Krista reflects on the problem with the phrase “just being” — and how settling inside ourselves right now, and kindness towards ourselves, are gifts to the world we want to make beyond this crisis. Living the Questions is an occasional On Being segment where Krista muses on questions from our listening community. Submit your own at ltq@onbeing.org.

In this unsettled moment, we’re returning to the shows we’re longing to hear again. Among them is this 2019 conversation with writer Ross Gay. The ephemeral nature of our being allows him to find delight in all sorts of places (especially his community garden). To be with Gay is to train your gaze to see the wonderful alongside the terrible; to attend to and meditate on what you love, even in the midst of difficult realities and as part of working for justice.

In this unsettled moment, we’re returning to the shows we’re longing to hear again. Among them is this 2019 conversation with writer Ross Gay. The ephemeral nature of our being allows him to find delight in all sorts of places (especially his community garden). To be with Gay is to train your gaze to see the wonderful alongside the terrible; to attend to and meditate on what you love, even in the midst of difficult realities and as part of working for justice.

“When all the ordinary divides and patterns are shattered, people step up to become their brothers’ keepers,” Rebecca Solnit writes. “And that purposefulness and connectedness bring joy even amidst death, chaos, fear, and loss.” In this moment of global crisis, we’re returning to the conversations we’re longing to hear again and finding useful right now. A singular writer and thinker, Solnit celebrates the unpredictable and incalculable events that so often redeem our lives, both solitary and public. She searches for the hidden, transformative histories inside and after events we chronicle as disasters in places like post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.

“When all the ordinary divides and patterns are shattered, people step up to become their brothers’ keepers,” Rebecca Solnit writes. “And that purposefulness and connectedness bring joy even amidst death, chaos, fear, and loss.” In this moment of global crisis, we’re returning to the conversations we’re longing to hear again and finding useful right now. A singular writer and thinker, Solnit celebrates the unpredictable and incalculable events that so often redeem our lives, both solitary and public. She searches for the hidden, transformative histories inside and after events we chronicle as disasters in places like post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.

Physicist Carlo Rovelli says humans don’t understand the world as made by things, “we understand the world made by kisses, or things like kisses — happenings.” This everyday truth is as scientific as it is philosophical and political, and it unfolds with unexpected nuance in his science. Rovelli is one of the founders of loop quantum gravity theory and author of the tiny, bestselling book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time. Seeing the world through his eyes, we understand that there is no such thing as “here” or “now.” Instead, he says, our senses convey a picture of reality that narrows our understanding of its fullness.

Physicist Carlo Rovelli says humans don’t understand the world as made by things, “we understand the world made by kisses, or things like kisses — happenings.” This everyday truth is as scientific as it is philosophical and political, and it unfolds with unexpected nuance in his science. Rovelli is one of the founders of loop quantum gravity theory and author of the tiny, bestselling book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time. Seeing the world through his eyes, we understand that there is no such thing as “here” or “now.” Instead, he says, our senses convey a picture of reality that narrows our understanding of its fullness.

Sociologist Nicholas Christakis says we come to social goodness as naturally as we come to our bloodier inclinations. Research out of his Human Nature Lab at Yale shows that capacities like friendship, love, teaching, and cooperation exert a tremendous and practical force on us — and yet we don’t think of those behaviors as grit for what’s helped humans evolve as a species. Christakis’ science — and the passion with which he shares and lives what he learns — put goodness in refreshing evolutionary perspective.

Sociologist Nicholas Christakis says we come to social goodness as naturally as we come to our bloodier inclinations. Research out of his Human Nature Lab at Yale shows that capacities like friendship, love, teaching, and cooperation exert a tremendous and practical force on us — and yet we don’t think of those behaviors as grit for what’s helped humans evolve as a species. Christakis’ science — and the passion with which he shares and lives what he learns — put goodness in refreshing evolutionary perspective.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — or SETI — goes beyond hunting for E.T. and habitable planets. Scientists in the field are using telescopes and satellites looking for signs of outright civilizational intelligence. One of the founding pioneers in this search is astronomer Jill Tarter. She is a cofounder of the SETI Institute and was an inspiration for Jodie Foster’s character in the movie Contact, based on the novel by Carl Sagan. To speak with Tarter is to begin to grasp the creative majesty of SETI and what’s relevant now in the ancient question: “Are we alone in the universe?”

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — or SETI — goes beyond hunting for E.T. and habitable planets. Scientists in the field are using telescopes and satellites looking for signs of outright civilizational intelligence. One of the founding pioneers in this search is astronomer Jill Tarter. She is a cofounder of the SETI Institute and was an inspiration for Jodie Foster’s character in the movie Contact, based on the novel by Carl Sagan. To speak with Tarter is to begin to grasp the creative majesty of SETI and what’s relevant now in the ancient question: “Are we alone in the universe?”

The wise and beloved Vatican astronomer Father George Coyne died last week. Like most of the Vatican astronomers across history, he was a Jesuit. More than 30 objects on the moon are named after the Jesuits who mapped it, and ten Jesuits in history have had asteroids named after them. Father Coyne was one of the few with this distinction, alongside his friend and fellow Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno. In a conversation filled with laughter, we experience a spacious way to approach life, faith, and the universe.

The wise and beloved Vatican astronomer Father George Coyne died last week. Like most of the Vatican astronomers across history, he was a Jesuit. More than 30 objects on the moon are named after the Jesuits who mapped it, and ten Jesuits in history have had asteroids named after them. Father Coyne was one of the few with this distinction, alongside his friend and fellow Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno. In a conversation filled with laughter, we experience a spacious way to approach life, faith, and the universe.

The House on Mango Street by Mexican American writer Sandra Cisneros has been taught in high schools across the U.S. for decades. A poetic writer of many genres, she’s received a MacArthur “genius grant,” a National Medal of Arts, and many other accolades. Cisneros grew up in an immigrant household where it was assumed she would marry as her primary destiny. In this warm and lively conversation with a room full of Latinx teens, she gives voice to the choice to be single — and, single or not, to know solitude as sacred.

The House on Mango Street by Mexican American writer Sandra Cisneros has been taught in high schools across the U.S. for decades. A poetic writer of many genres, she’s received a MacArthur “genius grant,” a National Medal of Arts, and many other accolades. Cisneros grew up in an immigrant household where it was assumed she would marry as her primary destiny. In this warm and lively conversation with a room full of Latinx teens, she gives voice to the choice to be single — and, single or not, to know solitude as sacred.

Journalist Ezra Klein has been widely interviewed about his new book, Why We're Polarized. In this conversation, he's frank and reflective about what's at stake in human terms in this political moment. And he describes how we all — Democrat and Republican, journalist and citizen alike — walked into this as a way to trace our steps out of it.

Journalist Ezra Klein has been widely interviewed about his new book, Why We're Polarized. In this conversation, he's frank and reflective about what's at stake in human terms in this political moment. And he describes how we all — Democrat and Republican, journalist and citizen alike — walked into this as a way to trace our steps out of it.

Pádraig Ó Tuama and Marilyn Nelson are beloved teachers to many; to bring them together was a delight and a balm. Nelson is a poet and professor and contemplative, an excavator of stories that would rather stay hidden yet lead us into new life. Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, conflict mediator, and the host of our new podcast, Poetry Unbound. Together, they venture unexpectedly into the hospitable — and intriguingly universal — form of poetry that is prayer. Editor’s note: This episode includes a preview from our new season of Poetry Unbound featuring a poem by Joy Harjo.

We’re excited to share the first episode of our new podcast, Poetry Unbound. It’s your new ritual: Immerse yourself in a single poem, guided by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Short and unhurried; contemplative and energizing. Anchor your week by listening to the everyday poetry of your life, with new episodes on Monday and Friday during the season. This episode features Brad Aaron Modlin’s poem, “What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade.” For more, subscribe to Poetry Unbound on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you listen.

Pádraig Ó Tuama and Marilyn Nelson are beloved teachers to many; to bring them together was a delight and a balm. Nelson is a poet and professor and contemplative, an excavator of stories that would rather stay hidden yet lead us into new life. Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, conflict mediator, and the host of our new podcast, Poetry Unbound. Together, they venture unexpectedly into the hospitable — and intriguingly universal — form of poetry that is prayer.

Alison Gopnik understands babies and children as the R&D division of humanity. From her cognitive science lab at the University of California, -Berkeley, she investigates the “evolutionary paradox” of the long human childhood. When she first trained in philosophy and developmental psychology, the minds of children were treated as blank slates. But her research is helping us see how even the most mundane facts of a toddler or a teenager — from fantasy play to rebelliousness — tell us what it means to be human.

Alison Gopnik understands babies and children as the R&D division of humanity. From her cognitive science lab at the University of California, -Berkeley, she investigates the “evolutionary paradox” of the long human childhood. When she first trained in philosophy and developmental psychology, the minds of children were treated as blank slates. But her research is helping us see how even the most mundane facts of a toddler or a teenager — from fantasy play to rebelliousness — tell us what it means to be human.

Civil rights legend Ruby Sales learned to ask “Where does it hurt?” because it’s a question that drives to the heart of the matter — and a question we scarcely know how to ask in public life now. Sales says we must be as clear about what we love as about what we hate if we want to make change. And even as she unsettles some of what we think we know about the force of religion in civil rights history, she names a “spiritual crisis of white America” as a calling of today.

Civil rights legend Ruby Sales learned to ask “Where does it hurt?” because it’s a question that drives to the heart of the matter — and a question we scarcely know how to ask in public life now. Sales says we must be as clear about what we love as about what we hate if we want to make change. And even as she unsettles some of what we think we know about the force of religion in civil rights history, she names a “spiritual crisis of white America” as a calling of today.

Joe Henry faced his mortality in 2018 when he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer and told he might only have months to live. Now in remission, the singer-songwriter and producer has created a gorgeous new album, The Gospel According to Water. Henry’s wisdom on living — and the loss that strangely defines it — ran all the way through this conversation, recorded before cancer in 2015. Beloved by fellow musicians as much as by his fans, he’s produced a over a dozen albums of his own and written and produced for other artists, from Elvis Costello to Madonna.

Joe Henry faced his mortality in 2018 when he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer and told he might only have months to live. Now in remission, the singer-songwriter and producer has created a gorgeous new album, The Gospel According to Water. Henry’s wisdom on living — and the loss that strangely defines it — ran all the way through this conversation, recorded before cancer in 2015. Beloved by fellow musicians as much as by his fans, he’s produced a over a dozen albums of his own and written and produced for other artists, from Elvis Costello to Madonna.

Brené Brown says our belonging to each other can’t be lost, but it can be forgotten. Her research has reminded the world in recent years of the uncomfortable, life-giving link between vulnerability and courage. Now she’s turning her attention to how we walked into the crisis of our life together and how we can move beyond it: with strong backs, soft fronts, and wild hearts.

Brené Brown says our belonging to each other can’t be lost, but it can be forgotten. Her research has reminded the world in recent years of the uncomfortable, life-giving link between vulnerability and courage. Now she’s turning her attention to how we walked into the crisis of our life together and how we can move beyond it: with strong backs, soft fronts, and wild hearts.

Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk is an innovator in treating the effects of overwhelming experiences. We call this “trauma” when we encounter it in life and news, and we tend to leap to address it by talking. But Bessel van der Kolk knows how some experiences imprint themselves beyond where language can reach. He explores state-of-the-art therapeutic treatments — including body work like yoga and eye movement therapy — and shares what he and others are learning on this edge of humanity about the complexity of memory, our need for others, and how our brains take care of our bodies.

Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk is an innovator in treating the effects of overwhelming experiences. We call this “trauma” when we encounter it in life and news, and we tend to leap to address it by talking. But Bessel van der Kolk knows how some experiences imprint themselves beyond where language can reach. He explores state-of-the-art therapeutic treatments — including body work like yoga and eye movement therapy — and shares what he and others are learning on this edge of humanity about the complexity of memory, our need for others, and how our brains take care of our bodies.

Fr. Greg Boyle makes amazingly winsome connections between things like service and delight, compassion and awe. He landed as an idealistic young Jesuit in a gang-heavy neighborhood of Los Angeles three decades ago. Now he heads Homeboy Industries, which employs former gang members in a constellation of businesses from screen printing to a farmers’ market to a bakery. This is not work of helping, he says, but of finding kinship.

Fr. Greg Boyle makes amazingly winsome connections between things like service and delight, compassion and awe. He landed as an idealistic young Jesuit in a gang-heavy neighborhood of Los Angeles three decades ago. Now he heads Homeboy Industries, which employs former gang members in a constellation of businesses from screen printing to a farmers’ market to a bakery. This is not work of helping, he says, but of finding kinship.

“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet / confinement of your aloneness / to learn / anything or anyone / that does not bring you alive / is too small for you.” David Whyte is a poet and philosopher who believes in the power of a “beautiful question” amid the drama of work as well as the drama of life and the ways the two overlap. He shared a deep friendship with the late Irish philosopher John O’Donohue. They were, David Whyte says, like “two bookends.” More recently, he’s written about the consolation, nourishment, and underlying meaning of everyday words.

"Close" by David Whyte read by Krista Tippett David Whyte is an associate fellow at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. His books include The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment, and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words and The Bell and The Blackbird. His latest collection is David Whyte: Essentials.

“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet / confinement of your aloneness / to learn / anything or anyone / that does not bring you alive / is too small for you.” David Whyte is a poet and philosopher who believes in the power of a “beautiful question” amid the drama of work as well as the drama of life and the ways the two overlap. He shared a deep friendship with the late Irish philosopher John O’Donohue. They were, David Whyte says, like “two bookends.” More recently, he’s written about the consolation, nourishment, and underlying meaning of everyday words.

Serene Jones describes theology as the place and story you think of when you ask yourself about the meaning of your life, the world, and the possibility of God. For her, that place is a “dusty piece of land” on the plains of Oklahoma where she grew up. “I go there to find my story — my theology. I go there to be born again; to be made whole; to unite with what I was, what I am, and what I will become.” In her work as a public theologian, Jones explores theology as clarifying lens on the present — from grace to repentance to the importance of moving from grieving to mourning.

Serene Jones describes theology as the place and story you think of when you ask yourself about the meaning of your life, the world, and the possibility of God. For her, that place is a “dusty piece of land” on the plains of Oklahoma where she grew up. “I go there to find my story — my theology. I go there to be born again; to be made whole; to unite with what I was, what I am, and what I will become.” In her work as a public theologian, Jones explores theology as clarifying lens on the present — from grace to repentance to the importance of moving from grieving to mourning.

As a longtime civil engineer by day and a poet by night, Cuban American writer Richard Blanco has straddled the many ways a sense of place merges with human emotion to form the meaning of home and belonging. In 2013, he became the fifth poet to read at a presidential inauguration (he was also the youngest and the first immigrant). The thoughtfulness, elegance, and humor of Blanco’s poetry and his person captivated the crowd for this live conversation at the Chautauqua Institution.

Richard Blanco reads parts IV and V from his poem “América”. Excerpted from the On Being episode “Richard Blanco – How to Love a Country”.

As a longtime civil engineer by day and a poet by night, Cuban American writer Richard Blanco has straddled the many ways a sense of place merges with human emotion to form the meaning of home and belonging. In 2013, he became the fifth poet to read at a presidential inauguration (he was also the youngest and the first immigrant). The thoughtfulness, elegance, and humor of Blanco’s poetry and his person captivated the crowd for this live conversation at the Chautauqua Institution.

Novelist Marilynne Robinson and physicist Marcelo Gleiser are both passionate about the majesty of science, and they share a caution about what they call our modern “piety” toward science. They connect thrilling dots among the current discoveries about the cosmos and the new territory of understanding our own minds. We brought them together for a joyous, heady discussion of the mystery we are.

Novelist Marilynne Robinson and physicist Marcelo Gleiser are both passionate about the majesty of science, and they share a caution about what they call our modern “piety” toward science. They connect thrilling dots among the current discoveries about the cosmos and the new territory of understanding our own minds. We brought them together for a joyous, heady discussion of the mystery we are.

Robert Macfarlane is an explorer and linguist of landscape. His newest book, Underland: A Deep Time Journey, is an odyssey that’s full of surprises — from caves and catacombs under land, under cities, and under forests to the meltwater of Greenland. “Since before we were Homo sapiens,” he writes, “humans have been seeking out spaces of darkness in which to find and make meaning.” Darkness in the natural world and in human life, he suggests, is a medium of vision and descent, a movement toward revelation.

Robert Macfarlane is an explorer and linguist of landscape. His newest book, “Underland: A Deep Time Journey,” is an odyssey that’s full of surprises — from caves and catacombs under land, under cities, and under forests to the meltwater of Greenland. “Since before we were Homo sapiens,” he writes, “humans have been seeking out spaces of darkness in which to find and make meaning.” Darkness in the natural world and in human life, he suggests, is a medium of vision and descent, a movement toward revelation.

For as far back as Joy Ladin can remember, her body didn’t match her soul. In her mid-40s, Ladin transitioned from male to female identity and later became the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish institution. She admits the pain this caused for people and institutions she loved. And she knows what it is to move through the world with the assumed authority of a man and the assumed vulnerability of a woman. We take in what she’s learned about gender and the very syntax of being.

For as far back as Joy Ladin can remember, her body didn’t match her soul. In her mid-40s, Ladin transitioned from male to female identity and later became the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish institution. She admits the pain this caused for people and institutions she loved. And she knows what it is to move through the world with the assumed authority of a man and the assumed vulnerability of a woman. We take in what she’s learned about gender and the very syntax of being.

angel Kyodo williams is one of our wisest voices on social evolution and the spiritual aspect of social healing. She is an esteemed Zen priest and the second black woman recognized as a teacher in the Japanese Zen lineage. For those of us who are not monastics, she says, the world is our field of practice. To sink into conversation with her is to imagine and nourish the transformative potential of this moment toward human wholeness. This interview originally aired in April 2018.

angel Kyodo williams is one of our wisest voices on social evolution and the spiritual aspect of social healing. She is an esteemed Zen priest and the second black woman recognized as a teacher in the Japanese Zen lineage. For those of us who are not monastics, she says, the world is our field of practice. To sink into conversation with her is to imagine and nourish the transformative potential of this moment toward human wholeness. This interview originally aired in April 2018.

“Our discomfort and our grappling is not a sign of failure,” America Ferrera says, “it’s a sign that we’re living at the edge of our imaginations.” She is a culture-shifting actor and artist. John Paul Lederach is one of our greatest living architects of social transformation. From the inaugural On Being Gathering, a revelatory, joyous exploration of the ingredients of social courage and how change really happens in generational time. This interview originally aired in June 2018.

“Our discomfort and our grappling is not a sign of failure,” America Ferrera says, “it’s a sign that we’re living at the edge of our imaginations.” She is a culture-shifting actor and artist. John Paul Lederach is one of our greatest living architects of social transformation. From the inaugural On Being Gathering, a revelatory, joyous exploration of the ingredients of social courage and how change really happens in generational time. This interview originally aired in June 2018.

Lennon Flowers and Rev. Jennifer Bailey embody a particular wisdom of millennials around grief, loss, and faith. Together they created The People’s Supper, which uses shared meals to build trust and connection among people of different identities and perspectives. Since 2017, they have hosted more than 1,500 meals. In the words they use, the practices they cultivate (some of which we’ve collected on onbeing.org), and the way they think, Flowers and Bailey issue an invitation not to safe space, but to brave space.

Lennon Flowers and Rev. Jennifer Bailey embody a particular wisdom of millennials around grief, loss, and faith. Together they created The People’s Supper, which uses shared meals to build trust and connection among people of different identities and perspectives. Since 2017, they have hosted more than 1,500 meals. In the words they use, the practices they cultivate (some of which we’ve collected on onbeing.org), and the way they think, Flowers and Bailey issue an invitation not to safe space, but to brave space.

Writer David Treuer’s work tells a story that is richer and more multi-dimensional than the American history most of us learned in school. Treuer grew up on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. At the time of our conversation with him in 2008, he was part of an ongoing project to document the grammar and usage of the Ojibwe language. He says the recovery of tribal languages and names is part of a fuller recovery of our national story — and the human story. And it holds unexpected observations altogether about language and meaning that most of us express unselfconsciously in our mother tongues. This interview originally aired in June 2008.

Writer David Treuer’s work tells a story that is richer and more multi-dimensional than the American history most of us learned in school. Treuer grew up on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. At the time of our conversation with him in 2008, he was part of an ongoing project to document the grammar and usage of the Ojibwe language. He says the recovery of tribal languages and names is part of a fuller recovery of our national story — and the human story. And it holds unexpected observations altogether about language and meaning that most of us express unselfconsciously in our mother tongues. This interview originally aired in June 2008.

We’d heard Derek Black, the former white-power heir apparent, interviewed before about his past, but never about the college friendships that changed him. After Derek’s ideology was outed at the New College of Florida, Matthew Stevenson (one of the only Orthodox Jews on campus) invited him to Shabbat dinner. What happened next is a roadmap for navigating some of the hardest and most important territory of our time. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org. This interview originally aired in May 2018.

We’d heard Derek Black, the former white-power heir apparent, interviewed before about his past, but never about the college friendships that changed him. After Derek’s ideology was outed at the New College of Florida, Matthew Stevenson (one of the only Orthodox Jews on campus) invited him to Shabbat dinner. What happened next is a roadmap for navigating some of the hardest and most important territory of our time. Matthew Stevenson was born and raised in South Florida. He graduated from the New College of Florida, the state's honors college, with degrees in mathematics and economics. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and currently works as an investment analyst at T. Rowe Price. Derek Black is a PhD student in history at the University of Chicago, where he’s examining how the legacy of the medieval European worldview influenced the development of ideas about race in the early-modern Atlantic. He is the subject of the recent book “Rising Out of Hatred” by Eli Saslow. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Derek Black and Matthew Stevenson — Befriending Radical Disagreement." Find more at onbeing.org. This interview originally aired in May 2018.

James Baldwin said, “American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.” Imani Perry embodies that prism. For the past few years, Perry has been pondering the notions of slow work and resistant joy as she writes about what it means to raise her two black sons — as a thinker and writer at the intersection of law, race, culture, and literature. This live conversation was recorded at the Chautauqua Institution.

James Baldwin said, “American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.” Imani Perry embodies that prism. For the past few years, Perry has been pondering the notions of slow work and resistant joy as she writes about what it means to raise her two black sons — as a thinker and writer at the intersection of law, race, culture, and literature. This live conversation was recorded at the Chautauqua Institution.

Science writer and reporter Erik Vance says today’s brain scientists are like astronomers of old: They’ve unsettled humanity’s sense of itself by redrawing our picture of the cosmos within our own heads. Vance has investigated the healing power of stories and the “theater of medicine” (white coats included). It turns out that the things that make us feel better are often more closely connected to what we believe and fear than to the efficacy of some treatments. In fact, most drugs that go to trial can’t beat what we’ve dismissively called the “placebo effect,” which is actually nothing less than an unleashing of the brain’s superpowers.

Science writer and reporter Erik Vance says today’s brain scientists are like astronomers of old: They’ve unsettled humanity’s sense of itself by redrawing our picture of the cosmos within our own heads. Vance has investigated the healing power of stories and the “theater of medicine” (white coats included). It turns out that the things that make us feel better are often more closely connected to what we believe and fear than to the efficacy of some treatments. In fact, most drugs that go to trial can’t beat what we’ve dismissively called the “placebo effect,” which is actually nothing less than an unleashing of the brain’s superpowers.

Ta-Nehisi Coates says we must love our country the way we love our friends — and not spare the hard truths. “Can you get to a place where citizens are encouraged to see themselves critically, where they’re encouraged to see their history critically?” he asks. Coates is a poetic journalist and a defining voice of our times. He’s with us in a conversation that is joyful, hard, kind, soaring, and down-to-earth all at once. He spoke with Krista as part of the 2017 Chicago Humanities Festival. This interview originally aired in November 2017.

Ta-Nehisi Coates says we must love our country the way we love our friends — and not spare the hard truths. “Can you get to a place where citizens are encouraged to see themselves critically, where they’re encouraged to see their history critically?” he asks. Coates is a poetic journalist and a defining voice of our times. He’s with us in a conversation that is joyful, hard, kind, soaring, and down-to-earth all at once. He spoke with Krista as part of the 2017 Chicago Humanities Festival. This interview originally aired in November 2017.

Movies can be whimsical, terrifying, life-altering, culture-changing experiences where the big ideas we take up at On Being show up in the heart of our lives. This hour we experience this through seven lives and seven movies — from The Wizard of Oz and Black Panther to The Exorcist. Get out the popcorn for this upcoming flavor of the new season of our On Being Studios podcast This Movie Changed Me — a love letter to movies and their power to teach, connect, and transform us.

Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton collects sounds from around the world. He’s recorded inside Sitka spruce logs in the Pacific Northwest, thunder in the Kalahari Desert, and dawn breaking across six continents. An attentive listener, he says silence is an endangered species on the verge of extinction. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound but an absence of noise. We take in the world through his ears. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org. This interview originally aired in May 2012.

Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton collects sounds from around the world. He’s recorded inside Sitka spruce logs in the Pacific Northwest, thunder in the Kalahari Desert, and dawn breaking across six continents. An attentive listener, he says silence is an endangered species on the verge of extinction. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound but an absence of noise. We take in the world through his ears. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Gordon Hempton — Silence and the Presence of Everything." Find more at onbeing.org. This interview originally aired in May 2012.

We were made and set here, the writer Annie Dillard once wrote, “to give voice to our astonishments.” Katy Payne is a renowned acoustic biologist with a Quaker sensibility. She’s found her astonishment — and many life lessons — in listening to two of the world’s largest creatures. From the wild coast of Argentina to the rainforests of Africa, she discovered that humpback whales compose ever-changing songs and that elephants communicate across long distances by infrasound. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org. This interview originally aired in February 2007.

We were made and set here, the writer Annie Dillard once wrote, “to give voice to our astonishments.” Katy Payne is a renowned acoustic biologist with a Quaker sensibility. She’s found her astonishment — and many life lessons — in listening to two of the world’s largest creatures. From the wild coast of Argentina to the rainforests of Africa, she discovered that humpback whales compose ever-changing songs and that elephants communicate across long distances by infrasound. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Katy Payne — In the Presence of Elephants and Whales." Find more at onbeing.org. This interview originally aired in February 2007.

Spiritual border-crossing and social creativity were themes in a conversation between Shane Claiborne and Omar Saif Ghobash, two people who have lived with some discomfort within the religious groups they continue to love. Ghobash is a diplomat of the United Arab Emirates and author of Letters to a Young Muslim. One of his responses to the politicization of Islam has been to bring a new art gallery culture to Dubai, creating spaces for thought and beauty. Claiborne is a singular figure in Evangelical Christianity as co-founder of The Simple Way, an intentional neighborhood-based community in North Philadelphia. One of the things he’s doing now is a restorative justice project inspired by a Bible passage — to transform guns into garden tools. This conversation took place at the invitation of Interfaith Philadelphia, which hosted a year of civil conversations modeled after the work of On Being’s Civil Conversations Project.

Spiritual border-crossing and social creativity were themes in a conversation between Shane Claiborne and Omar Saif Ghobash, two people who have lived with some discomfort within the religious groups they continue to love. Ghobash is a diplomat of the United Arab Emirates and author of Letters to a Young Muslim. One of his responses to the politicization of Islam has been to bring a new art gallery culture to Dubai, creating spaces for thought and beauty. Claiborne is a singular figure in Evangelical Christianity as co-founder of The Simple Way, an intentional neighborhood-based community in North Philadelphia. One of the things he’s doing now is a restorative justice project inspired by a Bible passage — to transform guns into garden tools. This conversation took place at the invitation of Interfaith Philadelphia, which hosted a year of civil conversations modeled after the work of On Being’s Civil Conversations Project.

Darnell Moore says honest, uncomfortable conversations are a sign of love — and that self-reflection goes hand-in-hand with culture shift and social evolution. A writer and activist, he’s grown wise through his work on successful and less successful civic initiatives, including Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to remake the schools of Newark, New Jersey, and he is a key figure in the ongoing, under-publicized, creative story of The Movement for Black Lives. This conversation was recorded at the 2019 Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England.

Darnell Moore says honest, uncomfortable conversations are a sign of love — and that self-reflection goes hand-in-hand with culture shift and social evolution. A writer and activist, he’s grown wise through his work on successful and less successful civic initiatives, including Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to remake the schools of Newark, New Jersey, and he is a key figure in the ongoing, under-publicized, creative story of The Movement for Black Lives. This conversation was recorded at the 2019 Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England.

Forms of religious devotion are shifting — and there’s a new world of creativity toward crafting spiritual life while exploring the depths of tradition. Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie is a fun and forceful embodiment of this evolution. Born into an eminent and ancient rabbinical lineage, as a young adult he moved away from religion towards storytelling, theater, and drag. Today he leads a pop-up synagogue in New York City that takes as its tagline “everybody-friendly, artist-driven, God-optional.” It’s not merely about spiritual community but about recovering the sacred and reinventing the very meaning of “we.”

Forms of religious devotion are shifting — and there’s a new world of creativity toward crafting spiritual life while exploring the depths of tradition. Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie is a fun and forceful embodiment of this evolution. Born into an eminent and ancient rabbinical lineage, as a young adult he moved away from religion towards storytelling, theater, and drag. Today he leads a pop-up synagogue in New York City that takes as its tagline “everybody-friendly, artist-driven, God-optional.” It’s not merely about spiritual community but about recovering the sacred and reinventing the very meaning of “we.”

Applied philosopher Jonathan Rowson insists on holding a deeper appreciation for how our inner worlds influence our outer worlds. His research organization, Perspectiva, examines how social change happens across “systems, souls, and society.” “If we can get better and more nimble and more generous about how we move between those worlds, then the chance of creating a hope that makes sense for all of us is all the greater,” he says. We engage his broad spiritual lens on the great dynamics of our time, from social life to the economy to the climate.

Applied philosopher Jonathan Rowson insists on holding a deeper appreciation for how our inner worlds influence our outer worlds. His research organization, Perspectiva, examines how social change happens across “systems, souls, and society.” “If we can get better and more nimble and more generous about how we move between those worlds, then the chance of creating a hope that makes sense for all of us is all the greater,” he says. We engage his broad spiritual lens on the great dynamics of our time, from social life to the economy to the climate. Jonathan Rowson is co-founder and director of the research institute Perspectiva based in London. He is also the former director of the Social Brain Centre at the Royal Society of Arts and is a chess grandmaster and three-time British Chess Champion. His books include “The Seven Deadly Chess Sins,” “Chess for Zebras,” and, most recently, “Spiritualize: Cultivating Spiritual Sensibility to Address 21st Century Challenges.” His forthcoming book, “The Moves that Matter: A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life,” will be published in November 2019. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Jonathan Rowson — Integrating Our Souls, Systems, and Society." Find more at onbeing.org.

Therapist Esther Perel has changed our discourse about sexuality and coupledom with her TED talks, books, and singular podcast, “Where Should We Begin?”, in which listeners are invited into emotionally raw therapy sessions she conducts with couples she’s never met before. For Perel, eroticism is a key ingredient to life — and it’s more than just a description of sexuality. “It is about how people connect to this quality of aliveness, of vibrancy, of vitality, of renewal,” she says. “It is actually a spiritual, mystical experience of life.” Esther Perel has a private couples and family therapy practice in New York. She is executive producer and host of the podcast “Where Should We Begin?” She has also given two TED talks and is the author of the books “Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence” and “The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Therapist Esther Perel has changed our discourse about sexuality and coupledom with her TED talks, books, and singular podcast, “Where Should We Begin?”, in which listeners are invited into emotionally raw therapy sessions she conducts with couples she’s never met before. For Perel, eroticism is a key ingredient to life — and it’s more than just a description of sexuality. “It is about how people connect to this quality of aliveness, of vibrancy, of vitality, of renewal,” she says. “It is actually a spiritual, mystical experience of life.” Esther Perel has a private couples and family therapy practice in New York. She is executive producer and host of the podcast “Where Should We Begin?” She has also given two TED talks and is the author of the books “Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence” and “The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the “On Being” episode “Esther Perel — The Erotic Is an Antidote to Death.” Find more at onbeing.org.

We must shine a light on the past to live more abundantly now. Historian Annette Gordon-Reed and painter Titus Kaphar lead us in an exploration of that as a public adventure in this conversation at the Citizen University annual conference. Gordon-Reed is the historian who introduced the world to Sally Hemings and the children she had with President Thomas Jefferson, and so realigned a primary chapter of the American story with the deeper, more complicated truth. Kaphar collapses historical timelines on canvas and created iconic images after the protests in Ferguson. Both are reckoning with history in order to repair the present. Titus Kaphar is an artist whose work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions from the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Seattle Art Museum to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His 2014 painting of Ferguson protesters was commissioned by “TIME” magazine. He has received numerous awards including the Artist as Activist Fellowship from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the 2018 Rappaport Prize. Annette Gordon-Reed is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Her books include “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, and “‘Most Blessed of the Patriarchs’: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Annette Gordon-Reed and Titus Kaphar — Are We Actually Citizens Here?” Find more at onbeing.org.

We must shine a light on the past to live more abundantly now. Historian Annette Gordon-Reed and painter Titus Kaphar lead us in an exploration of that as a public adventure in this conversation at the Citizen University annual conference. Gordon-Reed is the historian who introduced the world to Sally Hemings and the children she had with President Thomas Jefferson, and so realigned a primary chapter of the American story with the deeper, more complicated truth. Kaphar collapses historical timelines on canvas and created iconic images after the protests in Ferguson. Both are reckoning with history in order to repair the present. Titus Kaphar is an artist whose work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions from the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Seattle Art Museum to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His 2014 painting of Ferguson protesters was commissioned by “TIME” magazine. He has received numerous awards including the Artist as Activist Fellowship from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the 2018 Rappaport Prize. Annette Gordon-Reed is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Her books include “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, and “‘Most Blessed of the Patriarchs’: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination.” This interview originally aired in June 2017. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The folk-rock duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been making music for over 25 years. They’re known for their social activism on-stage and off, but long before they became the Indigo Girls, they were singing in church choirs. They see music as a continuum of human existence, intertwined with spiritual life in a way that can’t be pinned down. Amy Ray is a singer-songwriter who is one half of the folk-rock duo Indigo Girls. Her latest solo album, “Holler,” was released in September 2018. Emily Saliers is a singer-songwriter who is one half of the folk-rock duo Indigo Girls. She is also the co-author of “A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as a Spiritual Practice.” Her debut album, “Murmuration Nation,” was released in 2017. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Indigo Girls — No Separation: On Music and Transcendence” Find more at onbeing.org.

The folk-rock duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been making music for over 25 years. They’re known for their social activism on-stage and off, but long before they became the Indigo Girls, they were singing in church choirs. They see music as a continuum of human existence, intertwined with spiritual life in a way that can’t be pinned down. Amy Ray is a singer-songwriter who is one half of the folk-rock duo Indigo Girls. Her latest solo album, “Holler,” was released in September 2018. Emily Saliers is a singer-songwriter who is one half of the folk-rock duo Indigo Girls. She is also the co-author of “A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as a Spiritual Practice.” Her debut album, “Murmuration Nation,” was released in 2017. This interview originally aired in October 2013. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

We still work with the old idea that we should check the messy parts of ourselves at the door of our professional lives. But Jerry Colonna says doing so cuts us off from the source of our creativity. “The result is that our organizations are actually less productive, less imaginative; not just poor workplaces for individuals to be, but poor places for collaboration … and spontaneity and laughter and humor.” Colonna is a former venture capitalist who now coaches CEOs. He says undoing the old model starts with radical self-inquiry and asking ourselves questions like “Who is the person I’ve been all my life?” — and that it’s only after we sort through the material of our personal lives that we can become better leaders. Jerry Colonna is the co-founder and CEO of Reboot, an executive coaching and leadership development firm. He also hosts the “Reboot” podcast and is the author of “Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up.” And if you want to hear Jerry in action, he’s featured in several episodes of Gimlet media’s podcast “StartUp.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Jerry Colonna — Can You Really Bring Your Whole Self to Work?” Find more at onbeing.org.

We still work with the old idea that we should check the messy parts of ourselves at the door of our professional lives. But Jerry Colonna says doing so cuts us off from the source of our creativity. “The result is that our organizations are actually less productive, less imaginative; not just poor workplaces for individuals to be, but poor places for collaboration … and spontaneity and laughter and humor.” Colonna is a former venture capitalist who now coaches CEOs. He says undoing the old model starts with radical self-inquiry and asking ourselves questions like “Who is the person I’ve been all my life?” — and that it’s only after we sort through the material of our personal lives that we can become better leaders. Jerry Colonna is the co-founder and CEO of Reboot, an executive coaching and leadership development firm. He also hosts the “Reboot” podcast and is the author of “Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up.” And if you want to hear Jerry in action, he’s featured in several episodes of Gimlet media’s podcast “StartUp.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Men of all ages say Richard Rohr has given them a new way into spiritual depth and religious thought through his writing and retreats. This conversation with the Franciscan spiritual teacher delves into the expansive scope of his ideas: from male formation and what he calls “father hunger” to why contemplation is as magnetic to people now, including millennials, as it’s ever been. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan writer, teacher, and the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His many books include “Falling Upward,” “Divine Dance,” and most recently, “The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe.” This interview originally aired in April 2017. It is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Richard Rohr — Growing Up Men.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Men of all ages say Richard Rohr has given them a new way into spiritual depth and religious thought through his writing and retreats. This conversation with the Franciscan spiritual teacher delves into the expansive scope of his ideas: from male formation and what he calls “father hunger” to why contemplation is as magnetic to people now, including millennials, as it’s ever been. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan writer, teacher, and the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His many books include “Falling Upward,” “Divine Dance,” and most recently, “The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe.” This interview originally aired in April 2017. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The poet Jericho Brown reminds us to bear witness to the complexity of the human experience, to interrogate the proximity of violence to love, and to look and listen closer so that we might uncover the small truths and surprises in life. His presence is irreverent and magnetic, as the high school students who joined us for this conversation experienced firsthand at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Editor’s note: This interview discusses sexual violence and rape. Jericho Brown is Winship Research Professor in Creative Writing at Emory University and the director of Emory’s creative writing program. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book, “Please,” won the American Book Award, and his second book, “The New Testament,” won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His new collection of poetry is “The Tradition.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The poet Jericho Brown reminds us to bear witness to the complexity of the human experience, to interrogate the proximity of violence to love, and to look and listen closer so that we might uncover the small truths and surprises in life. His presence is irreverent and magnetic, as the high school students who joined us for this conversation experienced firsthand at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Editor’s note: This interview discusses sexual violence and rape. Jericho Brown is Winship Research Professor in Creative Writing at Emory University and the director of Emory’s creative writing program. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book, “Please,” won the American Book Award, and his second book, “The New Testament,” won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His new collection of poetry is “The Tradition.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Jericho Brown — Small Truths and Other Surprises.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Today young people are trying to balance the question of “What do I want to do when I grow up?” with the question of “Who and how do I want to be in the world?” Physician and writer Abraham Verghese and education researcher Denise Pope argue that’s because the way we educate for success doesn’t support the creation of full, well-rounded humans. And they see the next generation challenging our cultural view of success by insisting that a deeply satisfying life is one filled with presence, vulnerability, and care for others. Abraham Verghese is a professor of medicine, vice chair of the Department of Medicine, and Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor at Stanford University. His books of fiction and non-fiction include “My Own Country,” “The Tennis Partner,” and the novel “Cutting for Stone.” He received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2016. Denise Pope is a senior lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Education and the co-founder of the non-profit organization Challenge Success. She’s the author of “Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students;” and a co-author of “Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Abraham Verghese and Denise Pope — How Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?” Find more at onbeing.org.

Today young people are trying to balance the question of “What do I want to do when I grow up?” with the question of “Who and how do I want to be in the world?” Physician and writer Abraham Verghese and education researcher Denise Pope argue that’s because the way we educate for success doesn’t support the creation of full, well-rounded humans. And they see the next generation challenging our cultural view of success by insisting that a deeply satisfying life is one filled with presence, vulnerability, and care for others. Abraham Verghese is a professor of medicine, vice chair of the Department of Medicine, and Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor at Stanford University. His books of fiction and non-fiction include “My Own Country,” “The Tennis Partner,” and the novel “Cutting for Stone.” He received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2016. Denise Pope is a senior lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Education and the co-founder of the non-profit organization Challenge Success. She’s the author of “Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students;” and a co-author of “Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Community organizers Rami Nashashibi and Lucas Johnson have much to teach us about using love — the most reliable muscle of human transformation — as a practical public good. Nashashibi is the founder of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, a force for social healing on Chicago’s South Side. Johnson is the newly-named executive director of The On Being Project’s Civil Conversations Project. In a world of division, they say despair is not an option — and that the work of social healing requires us to get “proximate to pain.” Rami Nashashibi is founder and executive director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Chicago. He was named a MacArthur fellow in 2017 and an Opus Prize laureate in 2018. Lucas Johnson is the executive director of The On Being Project’s Civil Conversations Project. He was previously international coordinator for the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, a century-old peace-building organization. Lucas is also a community organizer, writer, and a minister in the American Baptist Churches. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Rami Nashashibi and Lucas Johnson — Community Organizing as a Spiritual Practice.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Community organizers Rami Nashashibi and Lucas Johnson have much to teach us about using love — the most reliable muscle of human transformation — as a practical public good. Nashashibi is the founder of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, a force for social healing on Chicago’s South Side. Johnson is the newly-named executive director of The On Being Project’s Civil Conversations Project. In a world of division, they say despair is not an option — and that the work of social healing requires us to get “proximate to pain.” Rami Nashashibi is founder and executive director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Chicago. He was named a MacArthur fellow in 2017 and an Opus Prize laureate in 2018. Lucas Johnson is the executive director of The On Being Project’s Civil Conversations Project. He was previously international coordinator for the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, a century-old peace-building organization. Lucas is also a community organizer, writer, and a minister in the American Baptist Churches. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Sylvia Boorstein says spirituality doesn’t have to look like sitting down and meditating. A Jewish-Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist, Boorstein says spirituality can be as simple as “folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the people in [your] family even though you’ve had a long day.” And she insists that nurturing our inner lives in this way is not a luxury but something we can do in the service of others — from our children to strangers in the checkout line at the grocery store. Sylvia Boorstein is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. Her books include “That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist” and “Making Friends with the Present Moment.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Sylvia Boorstein — What We Nurture.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Sylvia Boorstein says spirituality doesn’t have to look like sitting down and meditating. A Jewish-Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist, Boorstein says spirituality can be as simple as “folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the people in [your] family even though you’ve had a long day.” And she insists that nurturing our inner lives in this way is not a luxury but something we can do in the service of others — from our children to strangers in the checkout line at the grocery store. Sylvia Boorstein is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. Her books include “That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist” and “Making Friends with the Present Moment.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

“What does a good day look like?” That question — when asked of both terminally-ill and healthy people — has transformed Atul Gawande’s practice of medicine. A citizen physician and writer, Gawande is on the frontiers of human agency and meaning in light of what modern medicine makes possible. For the millions of people who have read his book “Being Mortal,” he’s also opened new conversations about the ancient human question of death and what it might have to do with life. Atul Gawande practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He’s also Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He was recently named the CEO of Haven, a healthcare venture spearheaded by the leaders of Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway. He’s been a staff writer for “The New Yorker” magazine since 1998 and is the author of four books, including “The Checklist Manifesto” and “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

“What does a good day look like?” That question — when asked of both terminally-ill and healthy people — has transformed Atul Gawande’s practice of medicine. A citizen physician and writer, Gawande is on the frontiers of human agency and meaning in light of what modern medicine makes possible. For the millions of people who have read his book “Being Mortal,” he’s also opened new conversations about the ancient human question of death and what it might have to do with life. Atul Gawande practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He’s also Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He was recently named the CEO of Haven, a healthcare venture spearheaded by the leaders of Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway. He’s been a staff writer for “The New Yorker” magazine since 1998 and is the author of four books, including “The Checklist Manifesto” and “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Atul Gawande — What Matters in the End” Find more at onbeing.org.

A Buddhist philosopher of ecology, Joanna Macy says we are at a pivotal moment in history with the possibility to unravel or create a life-sustaining human society. Now entering her 90s, Macy has lived adventurously by any definition. She worked with the CIA in Cold War Europe and the Peace Corps in post-colonial India and was an early environmental activist. She brings a poetic and spiritual sensibility to her work that’s reflected in her translations of the early-20th-century poet Rainer Maria Rilke. We take that poetry as a lens on her wisdom on the great dramas of our time: ecological, political, personal. Joanna Macy is an activist, author, and a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking, and deep ecology. Her 13 books include translations of Rilke’s “Book of Hours: Love Poems to God,” “A Year with Rilke,” and “In Praise of Mortality.” She is the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, a framework and workshop for personal and social change. Her new translation of Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet,” together with Anita Barrows, is upcoming in 2020. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Joanna Macy — A Wild Love for the World.” Find more at onbeing.org.

A Buddhist philosopher of ecology, Joanna Macy says we are at a pivotal moment in history with the possibility to unravel or create a life-sustaining human society. Now entering her 90s, Macy has lived adventurously by any definition. She worked with the CIA in Cold War Europe and the Peace Corps in post-colonial India and was an early environmental activist. She brings a poetic and spiritual sensibility to her work that’s reflected in her translations of the early-20th-century poet Rainer Maria Rilke. We take that poetry as a lens on her wisdom on the great dramas of our time: ecological, political, personal. Joanna Macy is an activist, author, and a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking, and deep ecology. Her 13 books include translations of Rilke’s “Book of Hours: Love Poems to God,” “A Year with Rilke,” and “In Praise of Mortality.” She is the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, a framework and workshop for personal and social change. Her new translation of Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet,” together with Anita Barrows, is upcoming in 2020. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The late Wangari Maathai was a biologist, environmentalist, and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She was born under British colonial occupation and schooled by Catholic missionaries. But when she looked back on her childhood near the end of her life, she realized her family’s Kikuyu culture had imparted her with an intuitive sense of environmental balance. Maathai was steadfast in her determination to fight for the twin issues of conservation and human rights — and planting trees was a symbol of defiance. Wangari Maathai founded the global Green Belt Movement, which has contributed today to the planting of over 52 million trees. She was the 2004 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her books include the memoir “Unbowed” and “Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World.” She’s also one of the 100 heroic women featured in the book “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.” She died in 2011 at the age of 71. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Wangari Maathai — Marching with Trees.” Find more at onbeing.org.

The late Wangari Maathai was a biologist, environmentalist, and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She was born under British colonial occupation and schooled by Catholic missionaries. But when she looked back on her childhood near the end of her life, she realized her family’s Kikuyu culture had imparted her with an intuitive sense of environmental balance. Maathai was steadfast in her determination to fight for the twin issues of conservation and human rights — and planting trees was a symbol of defiance. Wangari Maathai founded the global Green Belt Movement, which has contributed today to the planting of over 52 million trees. She was the 2004 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her books include the memoir “Unbowed” and “Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World.” She’s also one of the 100 heroic women featured in the book “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.” She died in 2011 at the age of 71. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and extraordinary healer in our world of fracture. He leads the Corrymeela community of Northern Ireland, a place that has offered refuge since the violent division that defined that country until the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Ó Tuama and Corrymeela extend a quiet, generative, and joyful force far beyond their northern coast to people around the world. Over cups of tea and the experience of bringing people together, he says it becomes possible to talk with each other and be in the same room with the people we talk about. Pádraig Ó Tuama is the community leader of Corrymeela, Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization. He finishes his five-year term in 2019. His books include a prayer book, “Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community,” a book of poetry, “Sorry for Your Troubles,” and a memoir, “In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and extraordinary healer in our world of fracture. He leads the Corrymeela community of Northern Ireland, a place that has offered refuge since the violent division that defined that country until the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Ó Tuama and Corrymeela extend a quiet, generative, and joyful force far beyond their northern coast to people around the world. Over cups of tea and the experience of bringing people together, he says it becomes possible to talk with each other and be in the same room with the people we talk about. Pádraig Ó Tuama is the community leader of Corrymeela, Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization. He finishes his five-year term in 2019. His books include a prayer book, “Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community,” a book of poetry, “Sorry for Your Troubles,” and a memoir, “In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Pádraig Ó Tuama — Belonging Creates and Undoes Us.” Find more at onbeing.org.

A prolific writer on sociology, history, economics, and politics, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history. His life traced an incredible arc; he was born three years after the end of the Civil War and died on the eve of the March on Washington. In 1903, he penned the famous line that “the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” Du Bois was a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement and for all of us navigating the still-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights now. We bring his life and ideas into relief through three conversations with people who were inspired by him. Elizabeth Alexander is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her books include “Crave Radiance” and her memoir, “The Light of the World.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad — W.E.B. Du Bois and the American Soul.” Find more at onbeing.org.

A prolific writer on sociology, history, economics, and politics, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history. His life traced an incredible arc; he was born three years after the end of the Civil War and died on the eve of the March on Washington. In 1903, he penned the famous line that “the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” Du Bois was a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement and for all of us navigating the still-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights now. We bring his life and ideas into relief through three conversations with people who were inspired by him. Arnold Rampersad is emeritus professor of English at Stanford University and author of “The Art and Imagination of W.E.B. Du Bois.” He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2010. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad — W.E.B. Du Bois and the American Soul.” Find more at onbeing.org.

This interview accompanies the On Being episode “Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad — W.E.B. Du Bois & the American Soul.” Find more at onbeing.org.

A prolific writer on sociology, history, economics, and politics, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history. His life traced an incredible arc; he was born three years after the end of the Civil War and died on the eve of the March on Washington. In 1903, he penned the famous line that “the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” Du Bois was a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement and for all of us navigating the still-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights now. We bring his life and ideas into relief through three conversations with people who were inspired by him. Maya Angelou was a poet, educator, and activist. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. She is most well-known for her series of seven autobiographies, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad — W.E.B. Du Bois and the American Soul.” Find more at onbeing.org.

A prolific writer on sociology, history, economics, and politics, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history. His life traced an incredible arc; he was born three years after the end of the Civil War and died on the eve of the March on Washington. In 1903, he penned the famous line that “the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” Du Bois was a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement and for all of us navigating the still-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights now. We bring his life and ideas into relief through three conversations with people who were inspired by him. Maya Angelou was a poet, educator, and activist. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. She is most well-known for her series of seven autobiographies, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Elizabeth Alexander is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her books include “Crave Radiance” and her memoir, “The Light of the World.” Arnold Rampersad is emeritus professor of English at Stanford University and author of “The Art and Imagination of W.E.B. Du Bois.” He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2010. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Over the years, listeners have asked for shorter-form distillations of On Being — something to listen to while making a cup of tea. Becoming Wise is this offering, designed to help you reset your day and replenish your sense of yourself and the world, ten minutes at a time. A taste of the second season, which launched this week, curated from hundreds of big conversations Krista has had with wise and graceful lives — including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, astronomer Natalie Batalha, and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. To receive an episode every Monday morning, subscribe at onbeing.org or wherever podcasts are found.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is a long-time student and articulator of the mysteries and messages of Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition. Kushner says mysticism tends to appear when religion — whatever the tradition — becomes too formal and logical. “The minute mysticism becomes permissible, acceptable, possible, it’s an immediate threat to organized religious structures,” he says. “Because what mysticism does is it gives everybody direct unmediated personal access to God.” He is influenced by the Jewish historian Gershom Scholem, who resurrected Kabbalah from obscurity in the 20th century and made it accessible to modern people. Lawrence Kushner is the Emanu-El Scholar at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco. He served for 28 years as the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. He has been an adjunct faculty member at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles and also a commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered. His many books include God Was in This Place & I, i Did Not Know, Kabbalah: A Love Story, and I’m God; You’re Not: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is a long-time student and articulator of the mysteries and messages of Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition. Kushner says mysticism tends to appear when religion — whatever the tradition — becomes too formal and logical. “The minute mysticism becomes permissible, acceptable, possible, it’s an immediate threat to organized religious structures,” he says. “Because what mysticism does is it gives everybody direct unmediated personal access to God.” He is influenced by the Jewish historian Gershom Scholem, who resurrected Kabbalah from obscurity in the 20th century and made it accessible to modern people. Lawrence Kushner is the Emanu-El Scholar at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco. He served for 28 years as the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. He has been an adjunct faculty member at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles and also a commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered. His many books include God Was in This Place & I, i Did Not Know, Kabbalah: A Love Story, and I’m God; You’re Not: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Lawrence Kushner — Kabbalah and Everyday Mysticism.” Find more at onbeing.org.

When the wise and whimsical Sharon Olds started writing poetry over 40 years ago, she explored the subjects that interested her most — like diaphragms. “The politeness and the prudity of the world I grew up in meant that there were things that were important to me and interesting to me, [but] I had never read a poem about,” she once said. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for her collection Stag’s Leap about walking through the end of a long marriage. Her most recent book, Odes, pays homage to the human body and experience. Sharon Olds is the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University. She is the author of Satan Says, The Dead and the Living, Odes, and Stag’s Leap — for which she also won the T.S. Eliot Prize. She helped found NYU’s outreach program for residents of Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island and for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Sharon Olds — Odes to the *****.” Find more at onbeing.org.

When the wise and whimsical Sharon Olds started writing poetry over 40 years ago, she explored the subjects that interested her most — like diaphragms. “The politeness and the prudity of the world I grew up in meant that there were things that were important to me and interesting to me, [but] I had never read a poem about,” she once said. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for her collection Stag’s Leap about walking through the end of a long marriage. Her most recent book, Odes, pays homage to the human body and experience. Sharon Olds is the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University. She is the author of Satan Says, The Dead and the Living, Odes, and Stag’s Leap — for which she also won the T.S. Eliot Prize. She helped found NYU’s outreach program for residents of Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island and for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

A philosopher and Catholic social innovator, Jean Vanier is one of the great elders in our world today. The L’Arche movement, which he founded, centers around people with mental disabilities. The dozens of L’Arche communities around the world have become places of pilgrimage and are transformative for those involved and for the world around them. He has devoted his life to the practical application of Christianity’s most paradoxical teachings — that there’s power in humility, strength in weakness, and light in the darkness of human existence. Jean Vanier is a philosopher and the founder of L’Arche. He lives full-time in the original community in Trosly-Breuil, France. He’s also the recipient of the 2015 Templeton Prize. His books include Befriending the Stranger, An Ark for the Poor, and A Cry is Heard: My Path to Peace. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Jean Vanier — The Wisdom of Tenderness.” Find more at onbeing.org.

A philosopher and Catholic social innovator, Jean Vanier is one of the great elders in our world today. The L’Arche movement, which he founded, centers around people with mental disabilities. The dozens of L’Arche communities around the world have become places of pilgrimage and are transformative for those involved and for the world around them. He has devoted his life to the practical application of Christianity’s most paradoxical teachings — that there’s power in humility, strength in weakness, and light in the darkness of human existence. Jean Vanier is a philosopher and the founder of L’Arche. He lives full-time in the original community in Trosly-Breuil, France. He’s also the recipient of the 2015 Templeton Prize. His books include Befriending the Stranger, An Ark for the Poor, and A Cry is Heard: My Path to Peace. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Writer and photographer Teju Cole says he is “intrigued by the continuity of places, by the singing line that connects them all.” He attends to the border, overlap and interplay of things — from Brahms and Baldwin to daily technologies like Google. To delve into his mind and his multiple arts is to meet this world with creative raw materials for enduring truth and quiet hope. Teju Cole is a photography critic for The New York Times and the Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard. His books are Blind Spot, a book of photography and writing; a collection of essays, Known and Strange Things; and two novels: Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Writer and photographer Teju Cole says he is “intrigued by the continuity of places, by the singing line that connects them all.” He attends to the border, overlap and interplay of things — from Brahms and Baldwin to daily technologies like Google. To delve into his mind and his multiple arts is to meet this world with creative raw materials for enduring truth and quiet hope. Teju Cole is a photography critic for The New York Times and the Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard. His books are Blind Spot, a book of photography and writing; a collection of essays, Known and Strange Things; and two novels: Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Teju Cole — Sitting Together in the Dark.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Béla Fleck is one of the greatest living banjo players in the world. He’s followed what many experience as this quintessential American roots instrument back to its roots in Africa, and he’s taken it where no banjo has gone before. Abigail Washburn is a celebrated banjo player and singer, both in English and Chinese. These two are partners in music and in life — recovering something ancient and deeply American all at once, bringing both beauty and meaning to what they play and how they live. Béla Fleck has recorded over 40 albums, most famously with The Flecktones and New Grass Revival. His albums include Flight of the Cosmic Hippo, UFO Tofu, and Rocket Science. His first full album collaboration with Abigail Washburn, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, was awarded the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. Their most recent album is Echo in the Valley. Abigail Washburn is a clawhammer banjo player and singer. Her albums include Song of the Traveling Daughter, City of Refuge, and The Sparrow Quartet EP. She is a Carolina Performing Arts DisTil Fellow, former TED Fellow, and was the first U.S.-China Fellow at Vanderbilt University. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Béla Fleck is one of the greatest living banjo players in the world. He’s followed what many experience as this quintessential American roots instrument back to its roots in Africa, and he’s taken it where no banjo has gone before. Abigail Washburn is a celebrated banjo player and singer, both in English and Chinese. These two are partners in music and in life — recovering something ancient and deeply American all at once, bringing both beauty and meaning to what they play and how they live. Béla Fleck has recorded over 40 albums, most famously with The Flecktones and New Grass Revival. His albums include Flight of the Cosmic Hippo, UFO Tofu, and Rocket Science. His first full album collaboration with Abigail Washburn, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, was awarded the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. Their most recent album is Echo in the Valley. Abigail Washburn is a clawhammer banjo player and singer. Her albums include Song of the Traveling Daughter, City of Refuge, and The Sparrow Quartet EP. She is a Carolina Performing Arts DisTil Fellow, former TED Fellow, and was the first U.S.-China Fellow at Vanderbilt University. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn — Truth, Beauty, Banjo.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson is one of the central people who’s helped us begin to see inside our brains. His work has illuminated the rich interplay between things we saw as separate not that long ago: body, mind, spirit, emotion, behavior and genetics. He is applying what he’s learning about imparting qualities of character — like kindness and practical love — in lives and in classrooms. This live conversation was recorded at the Orange County Department of Education in Costa Mesa, California. Richard Davidson is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He founded and directs the Center for Healthy Minds there. He is the co-author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain and Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body. He was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine in 2017. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Richard Davidson — A Neuroscientist on Love and Learning.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson is one of the central people who’s helped us begin to see inside our brains. His work has illuminated the rich interplay between things we saw as separate not that long ago: body, mind, spirit, emotion, behavior and genetics. He is applying what he’s learning about imparting qualities of character — like kindness and practical love — in lives and in classrooms. This live conversation was recorded at the Orange County Department of Education in Costa Mesa, California. Richard Davidson is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He founded and directs the Center for Healthy Minds there. He is the co-author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain and Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body. He was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine in 2017. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

She has called Brain Pickings, her invention and labor of love, a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness.” What Maria Popova really delivers, to hundreds of thousands of people each day, is wisdom of the old-fashioned sort, presented in new-fashioned digital ways. She cross-pollinates — between philosophy and design, physics and poetry, the intellectual and the experiential. We explore her gleanings on what it means to lead a good life — intellectually, creatively, and spiritually. Maria Popova is the creator and presence behind BrainPickings.org, which is included in the Library of Congress’s permanent digital archive of culturally valuable materials. She is the author of Figuring and hosts “The Universe in Verse” — an annual celebration of science through poetry — at the interdisciplinary cultural institute Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

She has called Brain Pickings, her invention and labor of love, a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness.” What Maria Popova really delivers, to hundreds of thousands of people each day, is wisdom of the old-fashioned sort, presented in new-fashioned digital ways. She cross-pollinates — between philosophy and design, physics and poetry, the intellectual and the experiential. We explore her gleanings on what it means to lead a good life — intellectually, creatively, and spiritually. Maria Popova is the creator and presence behind BrainPickings.org, which is included in the Library of Congress’s permanent digital archive of culturally valuable materials. She is the author of Figuring and hosts “The Universe in Verse” — an annual celebration of science through poetry — at the interdisciplinary cultural institute Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Maria Popova — Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age.” Find more at onbeing.org.

With his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Daniel Kahneman emerged as one of the most intriguing voices on the complexity of human thought and behavior. He is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economics for helping to create the field of behavioral economics — and is a self-described “constant worrier.” It’s fun, helpful, and more than a little unnerving to apply his insights into why we think and act the way we do in this moment of social and political tumult. Daniel Kahneman is best known for his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” He’s the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, professor of psychology and public affairs emeritus at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and a fellow of the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Daniel Kahneman — Why We Contradict Ourselves and Confound Each Other.” Find more at onbeing.org.

With his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Daniel Kahneman emerged as one of the most intriguing voices on the complexity of human thought and behavior. He is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economics for helping to create the field of behavioral economics — and is a self-described “constant worrier.” It’s fun, helpful, and more than a little unnerving to apply his insights into why we think and act the way we do in this moment of social and political tumult. Daniel Kahneman is best known for his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” He’s the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, professor of psychology and public affairs emeritus at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and a fellow of the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The topic of the day was “courage,” with two singular, admired women (who happen to be married to each other): soccer icon Abby Wambach and writer/philanthropist Glennon Doyle. Abby is an Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion. Glennon entered the American imagination with the label “Christian mommy blogger.” Now she ignites millions of followers through initiatives like “Love Flash Mobs,” as she says, “to turn heartbreak into action.” What follows is a conversation about courage that is both serious and playful, as it turns up in their lives apart and together — from addiction to social activism to blended family parenting. Glennon Doyle is the author of the bestselling books “Love Warrior” and “Carry On, Warrior. ” She is also the founder and president of Together Rising, a nonprofit that has raised more than $15 million for women and children in crisis. Abby Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, and six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of Year Award. Her books include “Forward: A Memoir” and the forthcoming “WOLFPACK.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The topic of the day was “courage,” with two singular, admired women (who happen to be married to each other): soccer icon Abby Wambach and writer/philanthropist Glennon Doyle. Abby is an Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion. Glennon entered the American imagination with the label “Christian mommy blogger.” Now she ignites millions of followers through initiatives like “Love Flash Mobs,” as she says “to turn heartbreak into action.” What follows is a conversation about courage that is both serious and playful, as it turns up in their lives apart and together — from addiction to social activism to blended family parenting. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach — Un-becoming” Find more at onbeing.org.

Mary Oliver was one of our greatest and most beloved poets. She is often quoted by people across ages and backgrounds — and it’s fitting, since she described poetry as a sacred community ritual. “When you write a poem, you write it for anybody and everybody,” she said. Mary died on January 17, 2019, at the age of 83. She was a prolific and decorated poet, whose honors included the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. In this 2015 conversation — one of the rare interviews she granted during her lifetime — she discussed the wisdom of the world, the salvation of poetry, and the life behind her writing. Mary Oliver published over 25 books of poetry and prose, including Dream Work, A Thousand Mornings, and A Poetry Handbook. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984 for her book American Primitive. Her final work, Devotions, is a curated collection of poetry from her more than 50-year career. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Mary Oliver — Listening to the World.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Mary Oliver was one of our greatest and most beloved poets. She is often quoted by people across ages and backgrounds — and it’s fitting, since she described poetry as a sacred community ritual. “When you write a poem, you write it for anybody and everybody,” she said. Mary died on January 17, 2019, at the age of 83. She was a prolific and decorated poet, whose honors included the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. In this 2015 conversation — one of the rare interviews she granted during her lifetime — she discussed the wisdom of the world, the salvation of poetry, and the life behind her writing. Mary Oliver published over 25 books of poetry and prose, including Dream Work, A Thousand Mornings, and A Poetry Handbook. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984 for her book American Primitive. Her final work, Devotions, is a curated collection of poetry from her more than 50-year career. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The poet, essayist, and playwright Claudia Rankine says every conversation about race doesn’t need to be about racism. But she says all of us — and especially white people — need to find a way to talk about it, even when it gets uncomfortable. Her bestselling book, “Citizen: An American Lyric,” catalogued the painful daily experiences of lived racism for people of color. Claudia models how it’s possible to bring that reality into the open — not to fight, but to draw closer. And she shows how we can do this with everyone, from our intimate friends to strangers on airplanes. Claudia Rankine is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University and founder of The Racial Imaginary Institute. She is the author of five collections of poetry including “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely.” Her plays include “The Provenance of Beauty” and “The White Card.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The poet, essayist, and playwright Claudia Rankine says every conversation about race doesn’t need to be about racism. But she says all of us — and especially white people — need to find a way to talk about it, even when it gets uncomfortable. Her bestselling book, “Citizen: An American Lyric,” catalogued the painful daily experiences of lived racism for people of color. Claudia models how it’s possible to bring that reality into the open — not to fight, but to draw closer. And she shows how we can do this with everyone, from our intimate friends to strangers on airplanes. Claudia Rankine is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University and founder of The Racial Imaginary Institute. She is the author of five collections of poetry including “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely.” Her plays include “The Provenance of Beauty” and “The White Card.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Claudia Rankine — How Can I Say This so We Can Stay in This Car Together?” Find more at onbeing.org.

Writer and illustrator Maira Kalman is well known for her books for children and adults, her love of dogs, and her “New Yorker” covers. Her words and pictures bring life’s intrinsic quirkiness and whimsy into relief right alongside life’s intrinsic seriousness. As a storyteller, she is contemplative and inspired by the stuff of daily life — from fluffy white meringues to well-worn chairs. “There’s never a lack of things to look at,” she says. “And there’s never a lack of time not to talk.” Maira Kalman is the author and illustrator of over 20 books for adults and children. She is well known for her “New York Times” blogs that have become books like “And the Pursuit of Happiness” and “The Principles of Uncertainty.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

To be in conversation with Maira Kalman is like wandering into one of her cartoons in The New Yorker. Millions have been prompted to smile and think by her illustrated revision of Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style” or a “New York Times” blog or her lovely books and her drawings about dogs. Her words and pictures bring life’s whimsy and quirkiness into relief right alongside its intrinsic seriousness, its most curious truths. Maira Kalman is the author and illustrator of over 20 books for adults and children. She is well known for her “New York Times” blogs that have become books like “And the Pursuit of Happiness” and “The Principles of Uncertainty.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Maira Kalman — Daily Things to Fall in Love With.” Find more at onbeing.org.

The great scholar and preacher. “Reframing so that we can re-experience the social realities that are right in front of us, from a different angle.” The disarming use of language. “A society finally cannot live without the quality of mercy.” Walter Brueggemann is one of the world’s great teachers about the prophets who both anchor the Hebrew Bible and have transcended it across history. He translates their imagination from the chaos of ancient times to our own. He somehow also embodies this tradition’s fearless truth-telling together with fierce hope – and how it conveys ideas with disarming language. “The task is reframing,” he says, “so that we can re-experience the social realities that are right in front of us, from a different angle.” Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. He is the author of “The Prophetic Imagination,” “Collected Sermons of Walter Brueggemann,” and “Tenacious Solidarity: Biblical Provocations on Race, Religion, Climate, and the Economy.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Walter Brueggemann — The Prophetic Imagination.” Find more at onbeing.org.

The great scholar and preacher. “The task is reframing so that we can re-experience the social realities that are right in front of us, from a different angle.” Prophets are also always poets. “A society finally cannot live without the quality of mercy.” Walter Brueggemann is one of the world’s great teachers about the prophets who both anchor the Hebrew Bible and have transcended it across history. He translates their imagination from the chaos of ancient times to our own. He somehow also embodies this tradition’s fearless truth-telling together with fierce hope – and how it conveys ideas with disarming language. “The task is reframing,” he says, “so that we can re-experience the social realities that are right in front of us, from a different angle.” Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. He is the author of “The Prophetic Imagination,” “Collected Sermons of Walter Brueggemann,” and “Tenacious Solidarity: Biblical Provocations on Race, Religion, Climate, and the Economy.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The feminist journalist and the psychotherapist. “It’s partners and lovers and spouses…fathers and brothers and sons and friends.” The difference between apology and forgiveness. “Men are used to trying to fix things.” Trauma, and also healing. What we are naming with the impetus of #MeToo is, at best, an opening to a long-term cultural reckoning to grow up humanity; to make our society more whole. We explore this with psychotherapist Avi Klein, who works with men and couples, and feminist journalist Rebecca Traister. In a room full of journalists, at the invitation of the Solutions Journalism Network, we explored how to build the spaces, the imaginative muscle, and the pragmatic forms to support healing for women and men, now and in time. Rebecca Traister is a writer for “New York Magazine” and a contributing editor at “Elle.” She is the author of “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “All the Single Ladies,” and “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger.” Avi Klein is a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker. He practices in Manhattan. His 2018 “New York Times” Op-Ed piece is titled “What Men Say About #MeToo in Therapy.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Rebecca Traister and Avi Klein — #MeToo Through a Solutions Lens.” Find more at onbeing.org.

The feminist journalist and the psychotherapist. “It’s partners and lovers and spouses…fathers and brothers and sons and friends.” The difference between apology and forgiveness. “Men are used to trying to fix things.” Trauma, and also healing. What we are naming with the impetus of #MeToo is, at best, an opening to a long-term cultural reckoning to grow up humanity; to make our society more whole. We explore this with psychotherapist Avi Klein, who works with men and couples, and feminist journalist Rebecca Traister. In a room full of journalists, at the invitation of the Solutions Journalism Network, we explored how to build the spaces, the imaginative muscle, and the pragmatic forms to support healing for women and men, now and in time. Rebecca Traister is a writer for “New York Magazine” and a contributing editor at “Elle.” She is the author of “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “All the Single Ladies,” and “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger.” Avi Klein is a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker. He practices in Manhattan. His 2018 “New York Times” Op-Ed piece is titled “What Men Say About #MeToo in Therapy.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

A question from Kevin: “I have been hearing a lot of deconstruction of the word ‘civility.’ The debate around this word has become, like so many other things, binary. ‘Civility’ is either a tool of oppressors to silence those on the margins, or it is something that is necessary for every single conversation and dialogue. I’d love to hear something about this word — what it actually means, in what contexts can it be helpful, in what contexts can it be used as a tool to silence anger.” Takeaways from the podcast: What is the inner work of civility that goes deeper than the surface of our encounters with each other? What is the goal of civility? “My concern for a while has been that the word is too meek; that it’s about being nice and tame and safe, and I don’t think stepping into any of the dark places and the fraught places right now can be nice or tame or safe. I always reach for other words to attach, like ‘muscular’—it has to be muscular, it has to be robust—this language we use in the Grounding Virtues, ‘adventurous civility.’ It needs to be an adventure.” “To use civility to silence anger is using a simplistic, binary understanding of civility as a kind of passive-aggressive weapon. And that’s not what I mean when I use the word.” “Civility is internal work that each of us needs to do.” “A question we fail to ask, so much, in American life is not just, what do I want to happen here; what do I have to say; what do I care about; what is at stake? But, what is the most effective way that my words can be heard? What is the most emotionally intelligent way, which is also going to be a productive way, that I can embody and represent and give voice to what I care deeply about?” “Creating spaces and experiences of robust, adventurous civility is actually very strategically effective because what you’re doing is you’re creating a space in which it is reasonable to ask people, smart people, complicated people who’ve been through complicated things, to let themselves get uncomfortable in the presence of a stranger.” “I am passionate about what I am passionate about. I’m scared about what I’m scared about, or I’m angry about what I’m angry about. And I know there are things I don’t understand, and I don’t want to stay this way forever, and I don’t want us to stay stuck here forever. So, I want to change and grow, and I invite you to be with me in that spirit too, and let’s see what happens.” About the Living the Questions series, from Krista Tippett: “I think of a good conversation as an adventure. You create a generous and trustworthy space for it, and prepare hospitably for it, so the other person will feel so welcome and understood that they will put words around something they have never put words around quite that way before. They will give voice to something they didn’t know they knew — and you will be a witness to thinking, revelation, in real time. This is one reason that radio/podcasting is such a magical medium: Everyone who listens joins that room, becomes a witness, the moment they push ‘play.’ They are also there for the revelation. It’s a form of time travel. And if the conversation is edifying (one of my favorite, underused words), we all sync up in some mysterious way across time and space and grow a little together. In recent years, I’ve discovered that I really like being on the other side of a conversation too. Maybe because I’ve experienced that thrill of revelation so many times, I approach someone asking questions of me with great anticipation of what they will draw out of me that I can’t draw out of myself. So, last summer on social media, my colleagues and I asked for questions you’d want to throw at me. We received, and continue to receive, such a bounty.” Find more at onbeing.org/series/living-the-questions/.

Absorption as a definition of happiness. “To bring that calm into the motion, the commotion of the world.” Traveling not in order to move around but in order to be moved. His friend Leonard Cohen. Stillness & silence as a recharging station for the soul. Pico Iyer is one of our most eloquent explorers of what he calls the “inner world” — in himself and in the 21st century world at large. The journalist and novelist travels the globe from Ethiopia to North Korea and lives in Japan. But he also experiences a remote Benedictine hermitage as his second home, retreating there many times each year. In this intimate conversation, we explore the discoveries he’s making and his practice of “the art of stillness.” Pico Iyer is a journalist and writer. He’s written over a dozen books including “The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home,” “The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama,” and “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.” He has two books on Japan upcoming in 2019: “Autumn Light” and “A Beginner’s Guide to Japan.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Absorption as a definition of happiness. “To bring that calm into the motion, the commotion of the world.” Traveling not in order to move around but in order to be moved. His friend Leonard Cohen. Stillness & silence as a recharging station for the soul. Pico Iyer is one of our most eloquent explorers of what he calls the “inner world” — in himself and in the 21st century world at large. The journalist and novelist travels the globe from Ethiopia to North Korea and lives in Japan. But he also experiences a remote Benedictine hermitage as his second home, retreating there many times each year. In this intimate conversation, we explore the discoveries he’s making and his practice of “the art of stillness.” Pico Iyer is a journalist and writer. He’s written over a dozen books including “The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home,” “The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama,” and “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.” He has two books on Japan upcoming in 2019: “Autumn Light” and “A Beginner’s Guide to Japan.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Pico Iyer — The Urgency of Slowing Down.” Find more at onbeing.org.

The wise physician and lyrical author. How our losses actually help us to live. Perfection as the booby prize in life. “Wholeness is never lost, it is only forgotten.” “Stories are the flesh we put on the bones of the facts of our lives.” Listening generously. Rachel Naomi Remen’s lifelong struggle with Crohn’s disease has shaped her practice of medicine, and she in turn is helping to reshape the art of healing. “The way we deal with loss shapes our capacity to be present to life more than anything else,” she says. And each of us, with our wounds and our flaws, has exactly what’s needed to help repair the part of the world that we can see and touch. Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is founder of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI), clinical professor of family medicine at UCSF School of Medicine, and professor of family medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. Her beloved books “Kitchen Table Wisdom” and “My Grandfather’s Blessings” have been translated into 24 languages. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The wise physician and lyrical author. How our losses actually help us to live. Perfection as the booby prize in life. “Wholeness is never lost, it is only forgotten.” “Stories are the flesh we put on the bones of the facts of our lives.” Listening Generously. Rachel Naomi Remen’s lifelong struggle with Crohn’s disease has shaped her practice of medicine, and she in turn is helping to reshape the art of healing. “The way we deal with loss shapes our capacity to be present to life more than anything else,” she says. And each of us, with our wounds and our flaws, has exactly what’s needed to help repair the part of the world that we can see and touch. Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is founder of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI), clinical professor of family medicine at UCSF School of Medicine, and professor of family medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. Her beloved books “Kitchen Table Wisdom” and “My Grandfather’s Blessings” have been translated into 24 languages. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Rachel Naomi Remen — The Difference Between Fixing and Healing.” Find more at onbeing.org.

We Americans revere the creation of wealth. Anand Giridharadas wants us to examine this and how it shapes our life together. This is a challenging conversation but a generative one: about the implicit moral equations behind a notion like “win-win”— and the moral compromises in a cultural consensus we’ve reached, without reflecting on it, about what and who can save us. Anand Giridharadas is a journalist and writer. He is a former columnist and foreign correspondent for “The New York Times” and a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He is the author of “India Calling,” “The True American,” and “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

We Americans revere the creation of wealth. Anand Giridharadas wants us to examine this and how it shapes our life together. This is a challenging conversation but a generative one: about the implicit moral equations behind a notion like “win-win” — and the moral compromises in a cultural consensus we’ve reached, without reflecting on it, about what and who can save us. Anand Giridharadas is a journalist and writer. He is a former columnist and foreign correspondent for “The New York Times” and a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He is the author of “India Calling,” “The True American,” and “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Anand Giridharadas — When the Market Is Our Only Language.” Find more at onbeing.org.

A brain surgeon. “The brain is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.” The science of compassion. The baggage of evolution. The two way street of “neural innovation that comes from the brain stem into the heart.” Brain surgeon James Doty is on the cutting edge of our knowledge of the brain and the heart: how they talk to each other; what compassion means in the body and in action; and how we can reshape our lives and perhaps our species through the scientific and human understanding we are now gaining. James Doty is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founding director of CCARE, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. His book is “Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.” He is also the senior editor of the “Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

A brain surgeon. “The brain is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.” The science of compassion. The baggage of evolution. The two way street of “neural innovation that comes from the brain stem into the heart.” Brain surgeon James Doty is on the cutting edge of our knowledge of the brain and the heart: how they talk to each other; what compassion means in the body and in action; and how we can reshape our lives and perhaps our species through the scientific and human understanding we are now gaining. James Doty is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founding director of CCARE, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. His book is “Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.” He is also the senior editor of the “Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The U.S. Poet Laureate. “There’s this whole other narrative unfolding.” How history “which once felt so remote, feels closer and active and unresolved.” Listening for the spaces that are under-imagined. “Little leaps of imagination” that can restore us. Tracy K. Smith has a deep interest in “the kind of silence that yields clarity” and “the way our voices sound when we dip below the decibel level of politics.” She’s a welcome voice on the little leaps of the imagination that can restore us. She’s spent the past year traversing our country, listening for all of this and drawing it forth as the U.S. Poet Laureate. Krista spoke with her at the invitation of New York’s B’nai Jeshurun synagogue, which has been in communal exploration on creating a just and redeemed social fabric. Tracy K. Smith is the 22nd United States Poet Laureate and the director of Princeton University’s creative writing program. Her works of poetry include include “Wade in the Water,” “Life on Mars,” and “Duende.” Her memoir is “Ordinary Light.” She’s written the introduction to a new book, “American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time,” and she’s launching a new podcast called The Slowdown. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The U.S. Poet Laureate. “There’s this whole other narrative unfolding.” How history “which once felt so remote, feels closer and active and unresolved.” Listening for the spaces that are under-imagined. “Little leaps of imagination” that can restore us. Tracy K. Smith has a deep interest in “the kind of silence that yields clarity” and “the way our voices sound when we dip below the decibel level of politics.” She’s a welcome voice on the little leaps of the imagination that can restore us. She’s spent the past year traversing our country, listening for all of this and drawing it forth as the U.S. poet laureate. Krista spoke with her at the invitation of New York’s B’nai Jeshurun synagogue, which has been in communal exploration on creating a just and redeemed social fabric. Tracy K. Smith is the 22nd United States Poet Laureate and the director of Princeton University’s creative writing program. Her works of poetry include include “Wade in the Water,” “Life on Mars,” and “Duende.” Her memoir is “Ordinary Light.” She’s written the introduction to a new book, “American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time,” and she’s launching a new podcast called The Slowdown. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Tracy K. Smith — love is a language / Few practice, but all, or near all speak.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Co-creator of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. “There is a calming, quieting, centering practice that leads to insight in every tradition.” Contemplative practice and social change. Mindful emailing. Creative, relational, ritual, cyclical. Mirabai Bush works at an emerging 21st century intersection of industry, social healing, and diverse contemplative practices. Raised Catholic with Joan of Arc as her hero, she is one of the people who brought Buddhism to the West from India in the 1970s. She is called in to work with educators and judges, social activists and soldiers. She helped create Google’s popular employee program, Search Inside Yourself. Mirabai Bush’s life tells a fascinating narrative of our time: the rediscovery of contemplative practices, in many forms and from many traditions, in the secular thick of modern culture. Mirabai Bush co-founded the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. She is the author of Contemplative Practices in Higher Education and has written two books with Ram Dass: Compassion in Action and Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Co-creator of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. “There is a calming, quieting, centering practice that leads to insight in every tradition.” Contemplative practice and social change. Mindful emailing. Creative, relational, ritual, cyclical. Mirabai Bush works at an emerging 21st century intersection of industry, social healing, and diverse contemplative practices. Raised Catholic with Joan of Arc as her hero, she is one of the people who brought Buddhism to the West from India in the 1970s. She is called in to work with educators and judges, social activists and soldiers. She helped create Google’s popular employee program, Search Inside Yourself. Mirabai Bush’s life tells a fascinating narrative of our time: the rediscovery of contemplative practices, in many forms and from many traditions, in the secular thick of modern culture. Mirabai Bush co-founded the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. She is the author of Contemplative Practices in Higher Education and has written two books with Ram Dass: Compassion in Action and Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Mirabai Bush — Contemplation, Life, and Work.” Find more at onbeing.org.

A creator of the field of the sociology of emotion. Treating emotion seriously in our life together. “I could see what they couldn’t see but not what I couldn’t see.” Our stories as “felt” not merely factual. Caring is not the same as capitulating. One of the voices many have been turning to in recent years is Arlie Hochschild. She helped create the field of the sociology of emotion — our stories as “felt” rather than merely factual. When she published her book, “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” in the fall of 2016, it felt like she had chronicled the human dynamics that have now come to upend American culture. It was based on five years of friendship and research in Tea Party country at that movement’s height, far from her home in Berkeley, California. Her understanding of emotion in society and politics feels even more important at this juncture. So does the reflective, self-critical sensibility this experience gave Arlie Hochschild on her own liberal instincts. Caring, she says, is not the same as capitulating. Arlie Hochschild is professor emerita in the Sociology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of nine books including “The Managed Heart,” “The Second Shift,” and “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” a finalist for the National Book Award. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Arlie Hochschild — Arlie Hochschild — On the Deep Story of Our Time.” Find more at onbeing.org.

A creator of the field of the sociology of emotion. Treating emotion seriously in our life together. “I could see what they couldn’t see but not what I couldn’t see.” Our stories as “felt” not merely factual. Caring is not the same as capitulating. One of the voices many have been turning to in recent years is Arlie Hochschild. She helped create the field of the sociology of emotion — our stories as “felt” rather than merely factual. When she published her book, “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” in the fall of 2016, it felt like she had chronicled the human dynamics that have now come to upend American culture. It was based on five years of friendship and research in Tea Party country at that movement’s height, far from her home in Berkeley, California. Her understanding of emotion in society and politics feels even more important at this juncture. So does the reflective, self-critical sensibility this experience gave Arlie Hochschild on her own liberal instincts. Caring, she says, is not the same as capitulating. Arlie Hochschild is professor emerita in the Sociology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of nine books including “The Managed Heart,” “The Second Shift,” and “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” a finalist for the National Book Award. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

“The sense of having walked from far inside yourself / out into the revelation, to have risked yourself / for something that seemed to stand both inside you / and far beyond you, that called you back” David Whyte sent us out into the world at the end of the first On Being Gathering — a four-day coming-together of the On Being community for reflection, conversation, and companionship — at the 1440 Multiversity in the redwoods of Scotts Valley, California. David Whyte is a poet and an associate fellow at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. He is the author of “The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America” and “Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.” His most recent book is “The Bell and The Blackbird.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

“People believe things that are mutually contradictory; I think we all do. I know I do.” — Erick Erickson Earlier this year, the University of Montana invited On Being to attempt an outside the box civil conversation between two political pundits on contrasting ends of the U.S. political spectrum. It became a sold-out, public event in the spirit of Montana’s Senator Mike Mansfield, who famously modeled integrity, courage, and humility across the partisan aisle in the tumult of 1960s and 70s. Sally Kohn and Erick Erickson are both controversial, lightning-rod figures, yet neither of them fits neatly into a partisan mold. The reaction of the youngest people in the room is what compelled us to put this on the air. They said they had not witnessed or imagined a political conversation like this possible: one marked at once by bedrock difference — and good will, humor, and a willingness to bring our questions as well as our arguments, our humanity as well as our positions, into the room, if only for an evening. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Sally Kohn and Erick Erickson — Relationship Across Rupture.” Find more at onbeing.org.